Eid in Yemen … Popular festivals and hymns are wider than the siege collar

In the days of Eid al-Fitr, Yemen witnessed special folk rituals passed down from generation to generation, from the “Eidia” to new clothes and folk tables, songs. It is also known for its use of shaking hands with opponents.

  • The Bura dance promotes teamwork (Mohamed Huwais / AFP)

He quickly revealed the secret of his smile and the smile on his face, fromThe first word he uttered, to tell his companions of the approaching day of Eid, revealed his family’s plan for the occasion, and described his clothes and his brothers, boasting of their bright colors.

The child Ahmed Muhammad (9 years old), born in Sana’a to parents from Taiz, Yemen, describes his joy over the impending Eid al-Adha feeling that cannot be described.

Ahmed says that it was his parents who raised her in the habit of joy every year on these days, and that they were the reason to encourage him to preach without shame to those who visit their home, or those they love. meet the neighbors. and with pride.

Pleasure heritage

Despite the disappearance of many old customs and traditions, especially on the occasion of holidays, especially after the Saudi aggression on Yemen, it did not kill the joy and happiness of the present generation, and what has disappeared has an alternative created for it.

Sheikh Yahya Al-Amir, 67 years old, mentions that Yemeni society has been subjected to many campaigns of perversion and extermination, but it has survived and every family has been able to pass on those customs and traditions to its children.

Happy first hours

As soon as the curtain of night falls, the morning sun rises, the footsteps of the feet are heard, the voices of the elderly rise, mixed with the laughter of children, accompanied by the sounds of metal pots being beaten with spoons.

After the light slips out of the windows of the houses, the men wake up from their slumber, and with the speed of the wind they change their clothes and put on the new and the most beautiful, while light food awaits them, and then go they pray.

Eid has its own special worship, such as the privacy of its day, as the festival in Yemen begins immediately after the dawn prayer, when people go out in small groups from different neighborhoods, sing the aphorisms and the prophetic prayers, to the “cemetery”. (a wide and open square) on the outskirts of the city or town to do the Eid prayer. .

  • Eid prayer in Yemen (Sputnik / archive)
    Eid prayer in Yemen (Sputnik / archive)

After the prayer is completed and the sermon is listened to, the children and young people accept to shake hands with their fathers, including the elders, so that everyone then begins to visit the womb and the graves of the dead.

Yemenis leave all differences behind, after running this event, even if the issue is one of revenge and blood.

Muhammad Salih (45 years old), one of the sons of the Sanaa Ring tribes, mentions that he and his tribe had to shake hands with the sons of another tribe next to them years ago.

“Assab Eid”

Yemeni society is perhaps the only one among Arab and Islamic societies that distributes happiness from its free money to those who earn it. , without being ashamed by giving or receiving punishment.

The herb is one of the inherited Yemeni customs and traditions associated with Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It is a message of love and loyalty to the womb and children, as well as a cash gift given by the parent to the young people, and the husband to the wife from his family, relatives and generations, when they are in their homes visit to offer happiness and blessings on the occasion of Eid.

The custom here is to introduce the herbs before leaving the house after the performance of the peace and congratulations ceremonies, which include the serving of the famous Yemeni coffee, or juices and cakes of all kinds and assortments, as well as various kinds of sweets and nuts such as raisins, which Yemen is known for producing various kinds, as well as pistachios, almonds and peanuts.

Young children often meet in groups that include a flock of siblings from families united by a common kinship, they start walking around from one house to another, where they greet, drink and eat what is usually offered, and at the end of the peace, the owner of the house or his owner gives them a sum of money, that is the feast of the feast.

proper meal

Here the role is limited to Yemeni women, to prepare the most delicious and delicious folk dishes inherited and special for the occasion, a feature that makes Eid in Yemen almost unique in its rituals by returning to the ancient, and not keep quiet to introduce new ones. vocabulary in the rituals of celebrations.

Among the most popular foods that Yemenis eat on the morning of Eid, in addition to sweets, cakes, pies and nuts, which are called “Eid Jaala”, they eat dates and meals like fatteh laban with ghee and honey.

In the afternoon, Yemenis eat zurban and kabsa, which are dishes whose main ingredients are rice and meat, to which raisins, potatoes and various kinds of spices are added, in addition to meals such as seeds, salads, bint al-sahn, kunafa, and others.

  • At Eid, Yemenis eat zerbies and kabsa, which are dishes whose main ingredients are rice and meat
    At Eid, Yemenis eat zerbies and kabsa, which are dishes whose main ingredients are rice and meat

It can be said that Yemeni women are among the few women of the Islamic world who are distinguished by making meat, especially sauce, which enjoys a special place in the middle of the table. Handmade, inherited by children of grandparents. This pot sauce is served before dinner, and during the meeting of guests in the diwan (majlis – reception rooms).

In some Yemeni regions, the popular dishes are distinguished as Bent Al-Sahn is served; They are pancakes with honey, and they serve strawberries, a mixture of baked bananas, and shfut, which is bread made from very thin local flour, and they mix it with yogurt, as well as the hareish meal and other popular dishes. .

Folk dances and hymns

The Yemeni dance accompanies all occasions of joy, whether at weddings, receptions, coming from guests, or pilgrimages. Similarly, Eid is not mentioned in Yemen, except that he mentions with him those folk dances and songs that race old men and young men to perform in the squares under the sounds of drums, or What in Yemen called the “bowl” become, as the centenarians win round after round, so you can watch folk dance episodes in more than one place.

While the traveling folk dance troupes seize the opportunities at such events, and play folk tunes on which the citizens dance, who are eager to give the musicians money for their playing.

The so-called “Al-Bara” dance circles with daggers are also distributed in the governors of Sana’a, Dhamar and Ma’rib, as well as in Yafa, with the addition of the rifle placed on the shoulder, which became part of the youthful folklore in the performance of the Yafi’i Zamil and the Yafi’i Dabkeh, for which Yafa was famous.

  • Traveling folk dance troupes seize opportunities like Eid and play folk tunes
    Traveling folk dance troupes seize opportunities such as Eid and play folk tunes (Associated Press)

Also in Hadhramaut Governor (Southern Yemen) there are various folkloric games and dances; Like the Ghayyadh, Al-Hubeish, Zerabadi and Shabwani dances, in the Shabwani set for which Wadi Hadramout is known, especially the cities of Shibam, Al-Houta, Al-Qattan and the capital, Sayun. In addition to the warm applause of the audience in response to the popular game.

Yemeni customs and traditions can not be counted, and they are not contained in ancient and contemporary history books and volumes, as they are numerous and diverse, and their roots go deep into history, and there is no way to preserve them. not except by encouraging those who work to revive them.

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